Weather: misty rain. Temp around 65F. Light winds. Flat water, except for some launch wakes.
I got to Riverside around 6am. I unloaded and parked my car close by. I was all settled in time for the 6:20 racers meeting. Then I waited around to launch. My start was at 8:43, so I launched just after 8AM, and made my way up river to the warmup area above the start. I did a version of my normal warmup with increasing rates, and then did some starts. The first couple were pretty horrid, but I settled down and eventually shook off the nervousness. Then it was pretty much OK.
Were called to the line 5 minutes before our start and lined up across the river. No bouys marking lanes or the start line. There was just a tent on the shore and a person with a megaphone calling alignment. As soon as she called it aligned, the starter on the launch behind us called out. “This is the start. Ready. Attention. Row!” I’m very glad that I setup at the catch when alignment was called, because there was no screwing around on this one.
My start was clean, but uninspired. I was in lane 2, which share the center span of the two bridges with lane 3. I was side by side with the guy in lane 3 through the first bridge and there was only about 5 m between us. It was exciting stuff, but he was faster than I was and I was flying and dying trying to stay side by side with him. After the first bridge, I settled in at about r30 and just tried to hold on to some semblance of technique. The launch was aggressively calling steering commands to all of us, and I found it a bit disruptive. I lost stroke count a couple of times because I was trying to listen, steer, watch the pace, count and row cleanly. But the main thing was that I had gone out too hard and I was paying the price now.
The second bridge is only about 300m away from the first, but I felt like time was passing in slow motion. That’s what happens to me when I don’t have a good stroke count to keep me centered. I went under the second bridge, finally, and looked at Crewnerd. Crewnerd told me I had 350m left to go. In my head, I translated that to another forty strokes. Two sets of 20. I can do that. I started pushing the pace again and got through 20 strokes. At this point, I got some more steering suggestions. I had drifted over into lane 1, by the docks of the Riverside Boathouse. I took a couple of hard port strokes, and then counted out the remaining 20 strokes to the finish, but no beep! I kept on going for a couple more strokes and the finish horn finally went off. I was massively disappointed with my time, 4:01.3. I finished 3rd in my 4 person race.
Here are the results of the other heat.
After the finish, I rowed down to the BU bridge for a cool down, and that was it for the day.
Here’s the whole row. The race was from LAP002 to LAP003.
Here’s a zoomed view of my course. You can see that my steering was way less than ideal. I started off going toward lane 1, eventually got my point on the bridge and went through it side by side with the guy in lane 3. After that bridge, I veered away from him, but it looks like my course was reasonably straight toward the second bridge. Coming out of the second bridge, I started veering toward lane3, and was pointed back by the launch following us. I guess I must have overcorrected because you can see how I drifted out into lane 1. The guy in lane 1 was well behind at this point, so there was no interference, but I added some extra distance and slowed myself down to steer at the end.
Here’s pace, spm and heart rate.
Here’s a zoomed view of the race.
I covered an extra 10-20 meters over the 1k due to my lousy steering. The slow down at the end was me steering back to lane 2 away from the dock.
So, what am I to make of this race.
- The pace that I managed was what I should have been expecting based on the prep work I had been doing. I was doing an all out 500m at a 1:55 pace, so a 1K should have been between 1:58 and 1:59.
- My steering was bad. I think that was mainly because I have been trying to make up for a lack of good specific preparation by trying to push very close to my limits. Last year, I was very disciplined about looking every ten strokes and it was a better race.
- With regard to race specific training. Between my travel schedule, my lack of a boat until a month ago, and not having a good specific training plan, I was not well prepared for this race. I did enough training on starts, but I did not do enough heavy lifting. I needed more 4x1Ks, 6x750s and 8 x 500s.
- My base fitness isn’t as good as it has been either. My 2mmol power is around 185w right now on the erg. I think last year it would have been about 10 watts higher. That’s about 4 seconds on pace, and I think it made a big difference in the second half of the race.
Based on all of that, I did as well as I should have expected. And I’m fine with that. Honestly, I’m not completely fine with it, but I understand it, and I will use it to define my training from here on out.
Now I set my sights on head racing season. Here’s a preliminary race schedule.
- Sept 17: CRI Fall classic (5K)
- Oct 2: Textile River Regatta (6K)
- Oct 9: Quinsigmond Snake Race (4K)
- Oct 22: Head of the Charles (5K) (If I get in the lottery)
- Nov 5: Merrimack Chase (5K)
I need to put together a more formal training plan, but for now, I will be focusing on aerobic base. Lot’s of 2mmol rowing. It’s also time for some video and RIM feedback.